in my recent efforts to meet some other ex-pats living on the island, i've learned a lot about myself and where i stand on the future of "my country."
first being that i hate when people refer to anything as "my country." especially americans talking to americans. as if one has more claim to the US as theirs. i know a girl who every time she argues with her husband brings up things that are different in her country.
---- hey, babe. you can't run that red light.
---- sure, i can. in the dominican republic it's okay as long as there are no cars coming.
---- well, in MY country, you'd go to jail.
and i know another man who, although he's been here for over 20 years, still compares everything to the dollar.
--- this peanut butter would only cost me 1 dollar on sale in MY country. but here i've got to pay 3 and it's not even name brand.
i think that, for me, in moving away from the states in what seems to be a permanent - or at the very least, long term - decision, i no longer really have the right to compare. i love MY country. i do. but can i really consider it MY country if i no longer play an active role in the day-to-day of it? i'm not sure. but i know that as long as i try to compare, i won't be happy here. as a matter of fact, i wouldn't be happy there either if i sat around all day comparing, for example, my rent, my electric or my water bill to the (respectively) $200USD, $15 USD and $6 USD i pay here.
that being said. i have every intention on voting in the upcoming election.
i wasn't sure if i was going to. i wasn't really sure how i felt about voting for a president in a country in which i don't reside.
and the conclusion i came to is this:
what happens in the US affects me. everyday. from the price of gasoline to the whackedout dominican/american subculture that is slowly penetrating the culture here. the idea of a president with worse foreign policy than bush scares me. a president who feels cuba is a huge threat might take over Santo Domingo (the island, not the city) and that's a scary thing for those of us living here.
am i going to vote based on the war? probably not. the economy? the crisis has not trickled down to the carribean and doesn't seem like it will, so that probably won't affect my vote either.
i will be voting based on a candidate who is going to be the best foreign politic. who is going to be strick on immigration, but not so strick that everyone is denied. and who plays well with others. and doesn't try to be the bigger man just because he is the bigger country.
i'm still doing my research. i don't know who i'm going to vote for, just what i'm going to vote for.
and no, i'm not going to argue with you.
i don't think that politics are worth straining relationships over, especially when our situations are so different - i live here. and what effects me as an american if very different than what effects you as an american.
i just hope that everyone will vote for what they believe in and not buy into stereotypes or hype. that people stick to their principals. and that the best candidate win.